Hamilton Trucking Accident Lawyers
Large commercial trucks account for a disproportionate percentage of the injuries and deaths occurring on Canadian roadways. A single average highway in Canada has about 1100 trucks a day travelling on it. In Ontario, the number goes up significantly. The average km of highway has about 2300 trucks a day, 10000 a day in Southern Ontario and up to 40000 trucks a day near Toronto.
When accidents happen, there is no doubt that truck accidents (including big rigs, 18-wheelers, tractor trailer, commercial vehicles) often cause very serious injuries to those involved, and in some instances, results in fatalities. Trucking accident can be very complex and difficult to handle, which is why you absolutely need to retain an experienced trucking accident lawyer to prosecute your case. Last year in Ontario, large truck collisions represented approximately 19% of road fatalities, while large trucks were involved in approximately 2011 reported cases of personal injury.
Investigating a Trucking Accident
It’s important that we start our trucking accident investigation as soon as possible in order to collect and organize any evidence required in determining liability. Typically lawyers in a trucking accident case will not only want to see the truck in person, but also will want:
- Access to the Trucking Black Box – Most trucks are equipped with a “black box” which can provide valuable information in case of a truck accident.
- Access to Daily Travel Logs – legislation and the HTA provided mandated hours of service for commercial vehicles, including trucks and truck drivers. Driver’s are mandated to keep daily logs that account for on-duty and off-duty time.
- Access to any Information About the Truck, Cargo and Weight – The HTA mandates restrictions on the size and weight of tractor trailers
- Access to Information about Trip Inspections – Trip inspections are mandatory by the HTA – every 24 hours that a tractor trailer is in use in order to ensure that it is in good operating condition. The inspection must be done according to specific regulations.
- Access to Annual Inspection Certificates – The Highway Traffic Act has requirements and component performance standards that the tractor trailer must satisfy. If they are satisfied, a mechanic will fill out an annual inspection certificate.
Semi-Truck, 18-Wheeler, Tractor Trailer and Commercial Vehicle Collisions
Our Hamilton trucking and personal injury lawyers represent victims who have suffered serious injuries and families of those who have lost loved ones in truck accidents. We represented victims who have suffered brain injuries, orthopedic injuries, spinal cord injuries. Our goal is to seek justice for our clients and help put them in the place they were before they were hurt or in the case of fatalities – make sure that families and loved ones, whether spouses or children, are well protected financially. Common causes of trucking accidents in Canada can include:
- Product liability and equipment failure
- Driver Error – i.e. misjudging speed and distance
- Over driving headlights in the dark or rain
- Bad weather
- sleep deprivation
- Alcohol or drugs
- Inadequate surveillance
- Faulty equipment
- Poor road conditions
- Following too close
- Insecure or tire blowouts
- Improper or overloaded cargo
- Accidents resulting from skipped maintenance checks
- Overloaded trucks
- Brake problems
- Defective roadways
Valuing Your Trucking Accident Claim
After determining fault or liability your trucking accident or Hamilton personal injury lawyers will need to valuate your damages, or compensation that might be owned to you if the accident was the fault of the truck driver or trucking company.
Your claim will typically consist of seeking compensation for your pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of amenities, loss of interdependent relationship, loss of housekeeping capacity and future health care costs. Future care, in the case of spinal cord injury, will usually consist of valuating annual costs. The average annual expenses and lifetime costs that are directly attributable to spinal cord injury vary greatly based on education, neurological impairment – i.e. whether the spinal cord injury is incomplete tetraplegia, incomplete paraplegia, complete paraplegia or complete tetraplegia.
In the context of a wrongful death or fatality, you would want to seek legal advice if you have suffered a loss of care, guidance and companionship, an economic loss or, if you are a surviving dependent left without financial support or the financial contribution that your deceased love one made to the family unit. Fatality claims in Ontario are complicated and should only be prosecuted by an experienced wrongful death or personal injury lawyer that will work with economists who will assist in calculating the loss of financial support suffered by the family of the deceased, either by sole dependency, cross dependency approach or a modified sole dependency approach.
Experienced Lawyer to Assess Any Trucking Accident Injury
Matt Lalande is an experienced Hamilton lawyer that has represented many victims in trucking accident cases. Over the past 15 years he has handled many accident victims recover full compensation for:
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Serious Orthopedic Injuries
- Bone breaks and fractures that interrupt life
- Severe burn injuries
- Severe scarring injuries
- Psychological pain and suffering
- Depression and Anxiety
- Internal injuries including traumatic wall hernias , bowl resections and internal organ damage
- Spine and neck injuries
- Severe burns
- Broken bones and fractures
- Wrongful death of a family member (s)
Trucking Accident & Personal Injury FAQ
We know that your trucking accident injury and accident will have you asking lots of questions – some of which common questions include:
How long do I have to file a trucking accident claim?
In Ontario, you have two years to file a trucking accident claim.
What is the maximum amount of money that I’m entitled to?
You are entitled to a maximum of approximately $366,000 (2018) which understandably is terribly low, but unfortunately is the law.
What if I was partially at fault for the accident?
Our Hamilton lawyers would need to review your situation but there is probably a good chance that you still have a valid claim, although you might be contributory negligent for the accident – which means that if you are paid compensation, that compensation is reduced in accordance to your proportionate share of contribution. The defendant trucker has the onus of proving this, not you.
Will I have to go to court in a trucking personal injury claim?
You might, or you might not. It depends. Every case and every insurer is different. You would most likely, at some point before going to Court be provided with an offer to settle your case, just as you would provide to the trucker that caused your injuries. If you and the defendant cannot agree on a mutually acceptable resolution or settlement, then you have the option of putting your facts in front of a Judge or Jury. This is your complete right to do.
What is the legal process in a trucking accident case?
The following is a short explanation of a truck accident litigation timeline and what you could expect. It is important to understand that, based on the severity and seriousness of the accident and injuries, settlement can occur at any time during the noted process below. For example, many insurance companies will understand the requirements of a paraplegic victim that was hurt by a driver and pay the policy limits on that claim sooner rather than later, assuming the accident is the truckers’ fault.
- The Truck Accident – if the accident is not your fault, or partially your fault and you suffered injuries, you will want to speak to an experienced Hamilton personal injury lawyer.
- Gathering or Records and Preserved Evidence – the next phase of litigation is the gathering of relevant records from the truck driver, truck, trucking company and the Ministry of Ontario.
- Examination for Discovery – the next phase of the examination for discovery, or questioning under oath in a boardroom. This typically lasts 2 to 4 hours. Each party gets to question the other side and request further documents.
- Mediation – Mediation is a voluntary process where both sides meet with an experienced mediator who specializes in facilitating a resolution of the case.
- Pre-Trial – pre-trial is when the parties meet privately with a Judge in chambers to discuss the case, where it is headed and the prospect of resolution.
- Trial – if you case does not resolve, you have the option of proceeding to trial and let a Judge or Jury decide the amount of compensation you are entitled to.
Book your Free Consultation with one of our Trucking Lawyers in Hamilton Ontario
If you or a family member has been involved in a trucking accident and suffered serious injuries, then you need to speak to an experience truck accident litigation specialist in order to determine your options and best recourse. Our Hamilton personal injury and truck accident lawyers will meet you at your convenience. We never charge for consultation and if we agree to work together, we will never ask for fees upfront. Call us at 905-333-8888 or speak to our live chat operator who would be happy to set up an appointment.